As more and more Canadian businesses sell online, it becomes increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and win the sale. Your efforts will be rewarded, however, especially if you focus on the tips outlined below. They’re intended as a starting point to direct your thought process and move you in the right direction, ultimately resulting in a larger market share (even in the most saturated space).
Part 1: Online Business Statistics
- With online retail sales accounting for 14.1 percent of all retail sales worldwide, ecommerce continues to grow at a fast rate despite global economic uncertainty, according to Statista.
- Forecasts show it will keep growing and reach 22 percent in 2023.
- In 2021, there were over 25 million Canadian online shoppers. By 2023, more than 80 percent of Canadians will be shopping online.
- Canadian ecommerce sales are expect to reach $79.80 billion in 2022, according to eMarketer.
- There are more than 2 billion digital buyers worldwide.
- China had the biggest ecommerce market in the world in 2019, with more than $1.935 trillion in sales.
- 51 percent of online shoppers buy via mobile vs. their desktop.
- A good checkout design can increase conversions by 25.26 percent.
- Slow-loading websites see a shopping cart abandonment rate of 75 percent.
- More than 40 percent of retailers use social media to generate sales.
- At least one out of every four companies sells on Facebook.
- Brands with at least one active social media account make 32 percent more sales online than those who do not.
Part 2: 10 Tips to Make Your Online Business Stand Out
1. Stagnation is your enemy. Don’t be content with one batch of products. Regularly releasing new items for your customers is key.
2. Show the difference your business can make. Identify your Unique Selling Proposition/Point (USP) for both your products and services.
3. Word-of-mouth marketing is key. Happy customers will naturally spread the word about your business.
4. Provide a variety of payment options. Don’t make it difficult for your customers to check out. Make sure they find their favourite payment option, including digital wallets or PayPal.
5. Be on social media. Find out where your ideal customer hangs out online and focus on those social media networks. Create multiple types of digital content to promote on social media and bring people to your site.
6. Partner with a good charity. Customers like the idea of part of their money going towards a great cause.
7. Invest in beautiful and functional website design. It should be user-friendly first and foremost, but it’s also important to look professional and trustworthy. Learn how to Maximize Online Sales with Outstanding Website Functionality.
8. Offer discounts, bonuses or promos. Coupons, free shipping, free stuff with purchase or BOGO, rewards programs, contests and other promotions can encourage consumers to order more often or in larger quantities. The anticipated economic upheaval, inflation and the expectation of a global recession will result in more cautious spending, with consumers actively seeking deals before hitting the ‘buy’ button.
9. Offer samples or subscription boxes for potential customers who haven’t decided to make a purchase. Don’t offer them free, but consider pricing them ‘at cost’ to ensure quality leads. Try to get their email address so you can follow up!
10. Provide exceptional support throughout the customer journey, including after a sale has been made.
Additionally, keep an eye on your competitors through the perpetual gathering of competitive intelligence. You can’t set yourself apart if you don’t know what others are doing or not doing, as the case may be. Make a list of your top competitors and start by checking out their website, blog, ads and social media. Brainstorm ways that you can do it better. To compete in searches, focus your efforts on competitive keyword strategies based on data gathered from tools like SEMRush.
How are you making your online business stand out? Please share your questions or experiences in the comments below or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group!
Source: Infographic provided by Earlypay
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.